I can’t think of a much better way to send off 2012 and welcome 2013 than with a post about books!
We’ve been a bit here-and-there with our reading choices lately.
I’m hoping we’ll start another family novel sometime in January, but we’ve been doing shorter and more varied selections through the holidays, and that’s been nice too.
We did finish Life of Fred: Honey and have moved onto Life of Fred: Ice Cream. Only one more book after that in Fred’s elementary math series, and then it’s on to Life of Fred: Fractions, which we actually acquired a couple of weeks ago from another local homeschooling family! I should mention – while Life of Fred is described as a Christian series, we are a secular homeschooling family and haven’t had any problems using the fairly few spiritual references we’ve found as talking points about what different people believe, which we like to do anyway.
For Christmas, we found a couple of small, short books for Sarah that we thought she’d like. They’re called Unlikely Friendships: The Monkey & The Dove and Unlikely Friendships: The Dog & The Piglet, and they’re excerpted from a longer book, Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom. They’re all written by a science reporter who investigated stories of animals that formed, you guessed it, unlikely friendships. My favorite was the one about Muschi the black cat and Maeuschen the black bear, who lived at a German zoo together from about 2000 until the bear’s death in 2010.
These are both short books – you can read each one aloud in a sitting – but they’ve encouraged us to read more about some of the animals included, which has been neat. Plus, WOW, cute photos!
Sarah also received The 2013 World Almanac for Kids, which I expect will give her many hours of browsing pleasure.
Finally in the “gifts” stack of books for Sarah, there was one of her favorites, The Star Wars Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy. Chris’s mom gets Sarah one of the pop-ups from the series by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart each year, and this year’s was probably Sarah’s favorite yet!
And, in what I love about homeschooling, we’re interspersing these with a college-level text on the ancient art/science/religion of alchemy, which we found in a used book shop. Alchemy: The Great Secret is pretty cool (and filled with a TON of historic art). Sarah and I have been reading it together and she’s done a lot of research on its parallels with modern chemistry, as well as its ties to Roman mythology and, later, some of the modern religions. This is heavy stuff – but she’s not only grasping it, she’s fascinated! (And, no worries, she is not trying to transmute our kitchen counter into gold.)
On the parental reading front, Chris received for Christmas a copy of the Route 66 Adventure Handbook, and I got a copy of John Holt’s Learning All the Time, which I’d read before from our library but wanted my own copy of.
What’s your family reading?